Autumn 2017 Newsletter – chairman’s letter

As we approach autumn, we remember five very interesting and different visits to all corners of Kent, a total of eleven churches and one cathedral all in a range of styles and in very varied countryside.  We were lucky with the weather again, although our visit to West Kent was too hot for once!   Apart from the churches, it is always good to visit parts of Kent that we have not seen before or not for a long time and also to enjoy the wonderful teas. Thank you again to everyone on the visits committee who spent much time in organising these visits and especially to Sir Paul Britton who organised his first visit, we look forward to many more.

The grants committee too has been on church visits this year.  Every church that applies to us for a grant is visited so that we understand the church’s position and can discuss their repair project with them. We had 35 applications for grants in 2017 and grant offers of £158,500 were made.  It is important to be thorough as we have made grant offers of over three-quarters of a million pounds in the last five years as well as recommending churches to the National Churches Trust for grants totalling £60,000.

This year’s Ride & Stride had good weather and lots of people were out.  It is too early to say how well we did but as always churches had various ways of making all visitors welcome.  St Mary Magdalene, Ruckinge had a sale of cakes, preserves, plants and produce as well as serving ploughman’s lunches and cream teas.  Some churches are a tough ride and to encourage cyclists and walkers to visit St Giles, Wormshill, the Nightingale Trust offered £20 sponsorship to the first 25 people to get to Wormshill at the top of the Downs.

We now look forward to two excellent lectures at Lenham this winter.  As always the caterers there need good notice of numbers, so please let Jill know in good time if you are coming.


Mary Gibbins